The Mediterranean phytogeographic department has been a part of the Garden from its founding. Stone oaks, olive trees, strawberry trees, Mediterranean palms and other ligneous species together with a number of other flowering plants have been planted in the “Italian Boulevard.”
The department occupies the northwestern part of the Garden, along the railway line and its environs. Bordering the Australian Department to the south and North American Department to the north, it is 5.07 ha in size.
Introduction of plants from the Mediterranean started in the 1880’s, well before the foundation of the Garden.
Currently, the Mediterranean Phytogeographic Department is represented in collections by 75 species, 41 genera, and 30 families. In the entire Garden there are 87 species, 48 genera and 42 families. Of these, 22 species are included in the “Red List” of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Among the ancient plants found in the department the following are notable: huge individuals of Parrotia persica and Quercus castaneifolia, Pinus pinaster and P. nigra, Quercus ilex, Tilia tomentosa, T. caucasica, Acer velutinum, Acer monspesulanum, A. campestre.
Of the Mediterranean flora the following plants are well adapted to local conditions: Laurus nobilis, Ulex europea, Cercis siliquastrum, Cupressus sempervirens, Pinus pinaster, Chamerops humilis.
Many of these plants are used in decorative gardening: Buxus sempervirens, B. balearica, Ilex aquifolium, its colored leaved, silver and golden forms, Nerium oleander, Chamerops humilis, Quercus ilex, Quercus suber, Viburnum tinus, Rosmarinus officinalis.